The West Chester University women’s tennis team (13-2, 4-0 PSAC) cannot be stopped right now. The ladies have wrapped up yet another stellar week, continuing their amazing streak of perfection.
With their victories this week over Shippensburg and Holy Family, they now have seven straight 9-0 team victories, and with the win over Shippensburg, they now have 14 such victories over PSAC East opponents in a row. Their road success has also ballooned up to a strong 10-1 record.
Their week began in Shippensburg on a picture-perfect Wednesday afternoon. The way the women played was near picture perfect as well. First doubles was wrapped up as pretty as you’d like with an 8-0 pro set win for Maddy Shaak and Claire Uhle. The number four-ranked doubles team in the region have been utterly dominant this season with a 13-2 record.
They have not dropped a match since facing University of Charleston. Their flawless performance was matched by the Golden Rams’ other two doubles teams, as Rylee Power and Gracyn Towler held down the fort at second doubles, and Steph Ciffarelli alongside Abriana Nolan finished things out at third doubles.
Things continued to run smoothly at singles.
Uhle, the ninth-ranked singles player in the region, proved worthy of her ranking by dominating her way to a 6-1, 6-1 victory. Her partner, who many on the team refer to as “Maddawg,” lived up to her namesake, as Shaak was like a dog on raw meat in her match, giving her opponent no chance with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. Shaak has enjoyed a tremendous senior year, as she joined Uhle among the singles elite in the region, finding herself at the number 16 spot, with a strong chance to move up once the April rankings emerge in a couple of weeks.
Power showed her muscle in the third singles match winning 6-0, 6-0 as well, clinching the win for West Chester.
The straight sets train rolled on as the afternoon progressed, as fourth singles was a win 6-3, 6-1 for Nolan. Sophie Rathmell continued her successful freshman campaign with a 6-3, 6-0 at fifth singles, and finally Cifarelli defeated her opponent at sixth singles 6-2, 6-1.
For the Raiders, the loss ended a short winning streak of two (3-6, 1-1 PSAC).
The ladies’ next match was in not so pleasant conditions. Winds ripped through the courts of Holy Family, altering the play style needed on both sides, and the attire typically expected for an April match. Sweatshirts and ski jackets dotted the crowds and courts as the two teams faced off for a non-conference affair.
West Chester made as quick of work as they could in the four courts available to them at Union League Golf Club. They defeated the Holy Family Tigers (7-6) in a 9-0 victory, spoiling their Senior Day. West Chester came in Saturday sporting a new top 10 ranking in the ITA Atlantic Region polls, coming in at number eight.
The Golden Rams were as strong as ever, as they were able to cut through the gusty conditions, and it all began with Shaak and Uhle winning 8-0 at first doubles. The two teammates were both at the top of their games as Uhle was able to find the angles in the courts from both of her forehands, as she took full advantage of her ambidexterity. Shaak was able to stay consistent in all facets of her game as well. The other two doubles teams, Power-Towler and Nolan-Ciffarelli, notched 8-2 victories.
Singles was a sweep as well for the Golden Rams. Uhle faced a hard-hitting but inconsistent opponent in Anastasiya Kolodiy, winning in straight sets 6-2, 6-1.
Shaak was surgical in her showdown with Sophie Beck, a freshman out of Germany. Coming into the match, Shaak was excited for the matchup; the two players had faced very similar opponents this season with very similar results. But Shaak handled the wind with poise, putting in one of her best performances on the year with a 6-1, 6-2 win.
Power had the most difficulty, playing a close first set 6-4, but was able to settle into the match more in the second set, winning 6-2. Nolan dominated at 4th singles 6-1, 6-1.
Ciffarelli stepped in for an injured Sophie Rathmell and won at fifth singles 8-4. Junior Alyssa Rees saw her first action of the season at sixth singles and didn’t show any signs of rust with an 8-2 win.
The ladies will wrap up their regular season with a PSAC matchup against Millersville University on Thursday, April 13. WCU hopes to extend a winning streak of four to five against the Marauders.
The team is also excited to say that they, along with other WCU athletes, will be participating in the Athletes Got Talent show. The event will be taking place in Hollinger Field House on Monday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m., with tickets being sold at the door for $5. All proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Come on out to support your fellow Golden Rams, as well as a great cause!
Ryan Hunt is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at RH803937@wcupa.edu.